Pregnancy and Parenting after Infertility > Pregnancy

MFI/LOW AMH Age 41 - BFP after varicocele embolisation

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I’ve lurked on this site for years, posting only once a about 18 months back (during our failed IVF in Sarajevo). We have MFI (SA >100,000 during last (failed) cycle), and now Low AMH/Poor responder due to my age (41). Last summer (after another failed IVF at Gennet) we decided to have my husband undergo a varicocele embolization on the NHS. We were told again and again that although my husband had a bad varicocele that the research did not support enough of a dramatic increase in sperm count to get us pregnant without IVF/ICSI.

Four months later I have a BFP on a FRER! We still cannot believe it and we are absolutely over the moon. I know that the miscarriage rate is very high for my age, but I am still staggered by the fact that a BFP is *possible* - something we gave up many, many years ago (along with tens of thousands of pounds trying IVF/ICSI in the UK and abroad).

Since I was an absolute psycho scouring the internet for symptoms every single time I underwent an IVF cycle, I thought I would post my 2ww symptoms leading to a BFP in case they were helpful/of interest to anyone:

1dpo-3dpo - nothing
4dpo-5dpo – UTI symptoms. Ok, this is where it got weird. I have not had an UTI since I was about 20 years old and first sexually active. But I felt a lot of pressure on my bladder and the urge to pee all of the time. Even though I didn’t have any burning feeling, I went to the doctor to see what was happening. They did a test for UTI which came up negative. The doctor prescribed me antibiotics in case things got worse (because he believed that I did have a UTI). By the way, he did a urine test for pregnancy, which came up negative. Since then I have found that many ladies online have UTI symptoms during their successful 2ww.
6dpo-7dpo – nothing (the UTI symptoms went away)
8dpo-14dpo – Horrendous AF pains, especially days 9-10. In fact, during day 10 I was feeling such severe cramps and was also feeling *so* low - I cried and told my husband how much it hurt and that it felt like someone was scraping my insides out with a spade (I thought it maybe had something to do with me getting older, that my period cramps were getting more intense). Due to the usual flushed raised temperature that I get about a week before AF is due, I was 100% sure that I was getting my period. HOWEVER, the cramps continued all the way up until test day (14dpo), which is something that never happens. I always get cramps about a week before AF, and then maybe a day or two before – but never ongoing strong cramping. I also felt a continual heaviness in my lower abdomen about 4 days before AF was due. I started to get feel a bit “different” in that I felt a vague nausea and also that continuous pressure in my abdomen/cramping. I thought that I was just reading into things. I must stress that it felt EXACTLY LIKE AF CRAMPS the entire time.  To top it all off, I got a bad cold that I am still fighting. Apparently your immunity goes down in early pregnancy, just like it does before AF.

I had NO other symptoms: no CM, no sore breasts, etc. I had some fatigue, but I always felt that during IVF cycles and besides, I had that cold.
The point is that it felt EXACTLY like AF, to the point that I almost didn’t buy a pregnancy test. It was just a feeling I had, that something was “different” (and a weird dream that I was in labor) that persuaded me to POAS.

I can’t believe we waited so long to have the varicocele embolisation. It makes me so upset that multiple doctors told us that it would likely make no difference. But in the end it is all fine, of course (if this BFP sticks then I guess I can cancel our consultation with Reprofit – we were gearing up to for more IVF after the holidays). I guess I just wanted to share that there is some hope out there for us over-40 crowd.

Good luck, everyone! And thank you for all of the years of support and information over the years, even if I received it pretty much only by lurking.  :)

amazing post. Good luck xx

Thanks so much, miamiamo! We are hoping and praying for a sticky bean. *fingers crossed!*

The fatigue has set in, so it feels like a proper BFP at last. :)

Wow Congratulations - this is an amazing post!

I was actually about to post in a different section about the situation I am in - which sounds very much like yours did!

I am 40 in February and a week or so ago my cycle was cancelled due to poor response. I have low AMH and a poor responder.

My husband has low everything - count, morphology.....and I happened to see that he had a varicocele from a scan he had back in 2014.

I packed him off to the doctors earlier today to see if we could maybe discuss this being linked to his fertility. And she brought out a letter (that we never received) from the urologist back in 2015.

It basically said, don't bother. There's nothing they can do. Removing the varicocele wont make any move on please!!!

I don't understand it? I see these stories quite a bit, where its made a difference? The urologist said it will take a year to see any (if there are any!) and with my age theres no point.....

Did you have to convince the doctors to remove it? I think I am more determined now to try and get this varicocele issue looked at - even if I have to go private!

Congratulations again, really happy for you xx

Hi Fairycake,

This was our situation, too, back in 2015. The doctors said (in the NHS letter) that it wouldn't make much of a difference, so we were approved for a round of IVF instead. My husband was able to be booked in for the embolization this year because he told the doctor that he had pain from the varicocele (it was a very large varicocele, and it did give him quite a bit of pain) - we were not really thinking fertility at the time (as we believed the doctors) but it was in the back of our minds. Maybe your husband has pain from it, too, and the doctor would be willing to address that issue?

From what I read, it doesn't make much of a difference unless the varicocele is large. And when they found some smaller varicoceles on the opposite side than the large one with my husband, they were unable to treat them as they were too small.

The embolization procedure was a very quick one (it took a couple of hours at hospital) and he was able to go home that same day. I think it's worth your husband being a little bit noisy about it *just in case* it can make a difference. Who knows?

Good luck!


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